Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18-2:1 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

Luke 1:26-35 (NIV) In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

From time to time I endure verbal abuse over celebrating Christmas and recognizing the birth of Jesus using the date of December 25th.  Those who chastise me want chapter and verse for this date in the Bible and my canned answer for years has been, “He was born, the exact date is not the issue!”  I don’t really care what day Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin who had conceived of the Holy Spirit and brought for the “Son of God” who would be the Savior of the world or the one who brought the “Hope of Salvation” to WHOSOEVER WILL!  If you find that you cannot celebrate on December 25th, I have no problem with that and if you find that you can I honor that too.  I choose to do so. 

I strive to make this day not about the material but about the spiritual.  I strive to make it about Jesus and God’s beginning of giving to mankind through the life of Jesus rather than about the commercial side of the holidays.  I choose to focus on LOVE rather than “what’s in it for me.”  I attempt to set time aside to worship Him and often find that the best way to do that is through ministering to those who are less fortunate than I.  Although, I do not have a lot of this world’s silver or gold, as Peter & John said, “Such as I have, I give.”  My greatest contribution has often been my faith and the encouraging of a downtrodden heart.  Christmas would not be Christmas to me if we could not focus on JESUS!

Traditionally we have set aside this date as the date on which we seek to honor the Lord.  We give no mention of any pagan celebrations, we refuse to focus on what the devil and his crowd might or might not do on this date.  Rather, we focus on our Lord of Lords and King of Kings and Celebrate His Life, Love, and Gift to us!  The greatest gift mankind could ever hope to receive, “The Mercy of God through Forgiveness!” 

It is my hope that you can have a time and even many times throughout the year in which you make that day or moment Christmas by demonstrating the Love and Character of the Lord Jesus to those whom you encounter.  I hope that you have a most blessed and happy time of fellowship with family & friends during this season and find that the coming New Year brings you great health, hope, and happiness.  May it be a prosperous year in ever dimension, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and economically.  My Christmas wish to you is that you are blessed of the Lord richly every day of your life for the rest of your days here on earth!

God bless you and may you know and taste the great Love, Grace, and Mercy of the Lord during these holidays!  

Be blessed and know that you are Loved and Loved greatly!

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